1810 - 1874 ABRAHAM GEIGER (Germany)
Author and Bible critic, he helped to inspire the Jewish Reform movement. He was elected Rabbi of Breslau in 1840 and was one of the founders of theJuedisch-Theologisches Seminar in Breslau, the first reform rabbinical seminary in Central Europe. He eventually refused to preach to the Breslau reform congregation, feeling that they had gone too far with their reforms. Geiger viewed Judaism as a religion divorced from national aspirations, so much so that he was against Jewish political solidarity during the Damascus Affair. Although he considered circumcision "barbaric" he was against its elimination in the same way that he was against changing the Shabbat to Sunday. His works include Das Judenthum und seine Geschichte (Judaism and its History) as well as studies on Maimonides, the Karaites, and the influence of Judaism on Islam.